MSL is a mission of NASA's Mars Exploration Programme.
JPL is the rover's prime contractor.
Curiosity's payload instruments were developed and delivered to JPL under responsibility of a "Principal Investigator" (PI) from American, European and Russian scientific laboratories.
PIs have been responsible for the interfaces with JPL, for the integration and the commissioning of their instrument as well as its delivery to JPL for integration to the rover. They have also been in charge of instrument operations, and data processing and distribution to the scientific community.
CNES is prime contractor for the French contribution to MSL.
- It funds the contributions of the French laboratories, except for the salaries of laboratories' engineers and scientists,
- It oversees the developments of the French contributions,
- If needed by laboratories, it provides support for quality assurance and mechanical, thermal, and componant-related expertise,
- It is the interface with American PI, NASA and JPL for management and technical aspects,
- It funds the French scientific activities.